Most of us tend to think of the air in our homes as clean, fresh and basically harmless. According to a recent report by the Royal College of Physicians, however, this could not be further from the truth.

Findings from the report demonstrate that the average family home produces a vast array of harmful particles and chemicals that can cause health issues including (but not limited to) cancer, heart disease, and liver damage. In fact, over 37,500 premature deaths in the UK have been traced back to indoor air pollution, and the problem looks like it is getting worse.

The primary culprit of these deaths is a substance called particulate matter (PM), which can be produced by anything from new carpets and kitchen cleaners to mould and pet dander. Indeed, the list of potential PM sources is long and the substance is almost impossible to avoid in modern homes.

The fact that the average UK citizen spends just 8% of their time outside means that the problem of indoor air pollution requires serious action over the next few years. If you would like to learn more about the issue, including ways to reduce the amount of PM in your home, take a look at this fascinating infographic.

Claire Preece